Cowboy from New York
01-14-2005, 12:19 AM
Clock ticking on undeclared underclassmen ...Underclassmen have only a day and a half or so to formally apply to the NFL for early admission to the 2005 draft with Saturday's deadline looming. Southern California junior QB Matt Leinart, who postponed his decision until this afternoon at 5:30 PM ET, of course remains, the key undeclared junior. Leinart, this year's Hesiman Trophy winner who led the Trojans to the national title, is expected to be one of the top 2-3 players selected at this year's draft if not the the #1 pick overall, if he opts to leave school early. Two other USC juniors - MLB Lofa Tatupu and P Tom Malone - are also expected to annouced their intentions at the same time as Leinart today. While he hasn't formally announced his intentions, Tatupu has reportedly told friends that he is ready for a "new challenge" and will be entering the draft. At the same time, those rumors that Southern Cal junior OT Winston Justice is rethinking his decision to return to school won't go away. Justice, who did not play in 2004 after he allegedy pointed a pellet gun at another student, is reportedly back at class at USC and appeared ready to resume his career with the Trojans, but a number of sources have indicated he may be having second thoughts. Meanwhile, it appears as if Texas DT Rodrique Wright may also be leaning toward entering the draft. Wright apparently is a little disappointed that former Longhorns' defensive co-ordinator Greg Robinson, who recently accepted the Syracuse coaching job, won't be around next fall. The fact that the NFL's special draft advisory committee indicated that the 320-pound Wright was a potential mid-first round pick at this year's draft, may also been pushing Wright to the pros. Like the USC players, Wright is expected to make his announcement sometime today.